Composer David Lang presents four new works in conjunction with films by four ground-breaking visual artists: photographer William Wegman, filmmaker Bill Morrison, videographer Doug Aitken, and conceptual artist Matt Mullican. The compositions in ELEVATED range from the densely orchestrated Men (trombone, English horn, bass clarinet, baritone sax, keyboard, viola, cello, and double bass) to the spare and delicate Wed, whose solo piano provides an apt accompaniment to Wegman’s film of one of his haunted Weimeraners at play. Morrison’s grainy footage of an iceberg rising majestically above a heaving sea is paired with the martial drumbeat and sinuous, meditative cello and guitar of How to Pray. And Lang reworks the Velvet Underground classic Heroin as a somberly beautiful duet for voice and cello. All pieces are performed by Canada’s Contact Ensemble. The resulting collaboration forges new pathways—both neural and aesthetic—between music and cinema, hearing and sight.
David Lang is co-founder and artistic co-director of Bang on a Can and one of the most sought-after composers at work today. His genre-defying music has been played by the Santa Fe Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, and the Kronos Quartet, at such venues as Tanglewood, the BBC Proms, the Sidney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival and Carnegie Hall; and in theater and dance productions worldwide.
The Canadian ensemble Contact is dedicated to performing new music that is at once accessible and challenging and that embodies values of inclusiveness and innovation.